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"Why is Changing Behaviors So Hard? Exploring the Psychology Behind Resistance to Change"

We train, we train, we train. We step on the first tee, and we shank one out of bounds in front of our laughing friends. The embarrassment is massive and somewhere inside our mind, our brain is telling us: I told you, let's stick with the original plan.

That's called Status Quo Bias. It's real, it's an inbuilt survival mechanism that humans have developed over time, but it is based on two other concepts:

  • Loss Aversion

  • Avoiding Regret(s).

That little embarrassing mishap on the first tee in front of our friends is exactly how this works. The experience of embarrassment or loss in greater than the pleasure we would get from a momentary great shot. Remember, we have to play golf for 4 hours and will take a number of difficult shots in difficult situations. So, the fear of embarrassment or loss of skill is very high when we first learn something.

We like the status quo, even if it is worse primarily because we know what to expect and the new way involves the risk of embarrassment. So, to change is to accept risk and failure: More than a humbling experience. Similarly, sticking to the status quo is the safer option.

Here's the good news: human's love patterns and we need to trigger positive confident patterns in the brain to reset the status quo. So with positive pattern development through repetition, we can slowly build up to the new method.

Don't worry it isn't 10,000 hours to master something - as much as we would enjoy that financially of course. The fastest way through is to be guided and coached. Yes, I am biased here.

There is a certain amount of volume that the body needs to get accustomed to in order to make the changes stick and become the new normal. At the start of change making, it is extremely difficult to accept that this is the new golf swing and that we have to take it step by step.

Here are the keys to our successful outcome:

  1. Scaffolding (I stole this from my customers who are teachers): We build atop the previous step by volume, and we slowly stop focusing on that step which makes it properly done by the student without adjustments.

  2. Lesson Structure: We need to mix and introduce the new steps as a part of the above method. If there is no structure to your golf lesson, you're not retaining anything.

  3. Humans can focus on 1 or 2 things at once, not more.

  4. Being indoors is a massive benefit primarily because lessons are private and allow the barriers to come down. Think of a doctor's office, we can only discuss our health problems behind closed doors and not near others on a driving range or in a group lesson.

  5. Instant Feedback without Bias - The golf simulator doesn't care about our feelings. It measures the numbers and gives them to us.

  6. Positive Changes are seen immediately as well as felt - The Feeling of a better strike & better ball flight triggers dopamine in our mind, and tells our body to remember that movement for later, and thus we don't consciously notice the positive change taking place.

  7. We provide the structured volume of shots without penalizing you for coming more - unlike a typical lesson.

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